Paper: Longitudinal analyses of the DNA methylome in deployed military servicemen identify susceptibility loci for post-traumatic stress disorder.
September 28th, 2017 by denise.slenter
In order to determine the impact of the epigenetic response to traumatic stress on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this study examined longitudinal changes of genome-wide blood DNA methylation profiles in relation to the development of PTSD symptoms in two prospective military cohorts (one discovery and one replication data set). In the first cohort consisting of male Dutch military servicemen (n=93), the emergence of PTSD symptoms over a deployment period to a combat zone was significantly associated with alterations in DNA methylation levels at 17 genomic positions and 12 genomic regions. Evidence for mediation of the relation between combat trauma and PTSD symptoms by longitudinal changes in DNA methylation was observed at several positions and regions. Bioinformatic analyses of the reported associations identified significant enrichment in several pathways relevant for symptoms of PTSD. Targeted analyses of the significant findings from the discovery sample in an independent prospective cohort of male US marines (n=98) replicated the observed relation between decreases in DNA methylation levels and PTSD symptoms at genomic regions in ZFP57, RNF39 and HIST1H2APS2. Together, our study pinpoints three novel genomic regions where longitudinal decreases in DNA methylation across the period of exposure to combat trauma marks susceptibility for PTSD.
Authors: Rutten BPF1, Vermetten E2,3,4, Vinkers CH2, Ursini G5, Daskalakis NP6, Pishva E1, de Nijs L1, Houtepen LC2, Eijssen L1, Jaffe AE5, Kenis G1, Viechtbauer W1, van den Hove D1,7, Schraut KG7, Lesch KP1,7, Kleinman JE5, Hyde TM5, Weinberger DR5,8,9,10, Schalkwyk L11, Lunnon K12, Mill J12, Cohen H13, Yehuda R6, Baker DG14,15,16, Maihofer AX14,15,16, Nievergelt CM14,15,16, Geuze E2,3, Boks MPM2.